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Rief's Story

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Gaffit
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« Reply #15 on: 16 April, 2009, 09:30:04 am »

Chapter 7:

Rief awoke in the familiar bedding, with fresh bandages wrapped around his body. Rief checked his wounds only to see that they were for the most part healed. Rief looked around and was pleasantly surprised to see his equipment in the corner.

Rief briefly considered taking the equipment and running, but he assumed the turret system would still be operational. Plus a small part of him did feel like he should at least listen to Thaum’s request. The poor guy must be pretty desperate if such a powerful magician had to call on the assistance of a simple thief. An even smaller part of him was even starting to grow on the old man.

Gathering his equipment from the corner of the room, Rief set out to find Cigruta. Passing through the halls of the fortress, Rief decided to look for Thaum where they had first met. Entering the fortress’ treasure hoard, Rief found Thaum rummaging through the countless chests within the room.

“Good to see you’re awake,” Thaum said without looking up, “I see your wounds have healed nicely, which is a good thing to because it looks like I have a mission for you.”

“Really? I don’t have to fight any fire-demons this time do I?”

“Not that I know of. There’s always a chance of running into them though isn’t there?” Thaum said while still rummaging.

“So what’s the job?” Rief asked.

“About two hundred years ago, a noble stole a crystal from me. Obviously he didn’t realize the importance of it, but he stole it nonetheless. I’ve heard rumors the noble passed it on to his son when he died and that the crystal still remains with the family to this day.” Thaum half-smiled, “Apparently they see it as some sort of show of superiority. I should have gotten the crystal back long ago, but now it’ll serve as an excellent test for you.” Thaum finished rummaging through his chest and pulled out a large white staff that was several times longer than the chest that held it.

“Alright, so where am I heading?” Rief asked.

“We are heading to Gemini!” Thaum said with a grin covering his face.

“You’re coming with me?”

“Well of course. It only makes sense that your performance should be graded. Plus you might need my help. After that show against two measly Elementals, I don’t doubt that I would be a great help to you.”

Rief thought about that for a moment, “Fair enough. So whose the target?”

“The ‘target’ as you so affectionately call him is Mr. Sterling.”

“Mayor Starling!? We’re knocking over the leader of Gemini City?”

“Yes, and I hate to rush this, but we do need to be somewhat quick about this, we don’t have a lot of time and we really do need that crystal.”

“Alright,” Rief said, removing his bandages. “I’m ready when you are.”

“Good.” Said Thaum while thumbing his staff, “Because the room left five seconds ago.” Thaum walked over to the treasure room door and opened it, revealing the bustling sights and sounds of Gemini.
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« Reply #16 on: 16 April, 2009, 09:30:40 am »

Chapter 8:

Rief looked out the doorway of the treasure room into the bustling center of Gemini City’s noble district.

“A Displacement Spell?” Rief asked.

“Yes, I’m surprised you know about them. I long considered it a dead magic.” Thaum replied.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you, after all I’ve been in the business of working with magicians for awhile. I’ve had Displacement Spells used on me before, but I’ve never seen someone displace and entire room before.”

Rief and Thaum exited the room and closed the door behind them, replacing the inside of the bakery Thaum used with it’s usual store. Apparently no one noticed that a bakery held mass wealth one minute and then bagels the next.

“What’s the plan?” Rief asked, “Normally I just pick a rooftop and jump into the manor, but I’m not sure you’ll be able to keep up. No offense intended.”

“Well we could storm our way into the mansion and cause a big mess, or we could simply walk right through the front door.”

“I’m not following you.”

“You forget who I am. My mere presence here is enough to gain us entry. I’ll simply inform the guard at the door of my name I’ll tell him I wish to see Mr. Sterling. After the guard finishes trembling I’m sure he’ll let me in.”

“You’re sure of yourself. But what about me?”

“You’re my servant of course. Once we enter the castle you’ll be excused to wait in the servant’s quarters. From there you’ll be free to search the castle for my crystal.”

“How will I know which crystal it is?” Rief asked as they strolled through the streets towards the manor.

“It will be filled with magical energy. I highly doubt you’ll be able to mistaken it.”

At this, Rief and Thaum reached the castle’s front gate. Thaum leaned to Rief and whispered “Put your weaponry away boy. I don’t think they’ll accept a servant who is so heavily armed.”

Rief quickly stuffed his daggers and quiver under his baggy shirt. Unstringing his bow, he hid the string in his pouch and in a quick motion, shoved the rest of the bow down his pant leg, giving Rief the appearance of a hunchback with a limp.

“Well, that’ll have to do.” Thaum said knocking on the mansion door. A young guard came to the door and slid open the peephole.

“What is your business with the mayor?” The guard asked.

“My name is Thaum Cigruta, master magician, this is my poor dilapidated servant. I seek an audience with Mr. Starling. I am very impatient and filled to the brim with explosive magic.”

Rief had to hand it to Thaum, he was right, the guard did tremble hard enough to have trouble with the door.

“If- if you w-will please wait here s-sir, I’ll go get Mr.- I uh mean, Mayor Starling, uh sir.” And with that, the guard stumbled out of sight.

“This will be easier than I thought.” Thaum said to himself.

After a couple minutes of waiting in the luxurious room, the guard returned much more composed and in control of himself than he was a couple of moments ago.

“Ehem,” The guard said as he superfluously cleared his throat, “Mayor Sterling will see you now Mr. Cigruta.”

“If you don’t mind, it’s been a long journey and my poor servant is rather tired. Would it be too much of a bother to let him to wait in your servant’s quarters?”

“Not at all, the servant’s quarters are down that hall there.” The guard pointed without ever taking his eyes off Thaum. “Now then, if you’ll come this way.” The guard led Thaum out of the room, leaving Rief by himself.

“As it should be,” Rief grunted.

Rief headed down the hall while replacing his daggers to his hips and his bow and quiver on his back. Rief jogged down the hall and turned the corner to face a large regimen of armored men guarding the corridor. They turned towards Rief with various looks of surprise, paying extra attention to Rief’s large amount of weaponry.

“Everything looks good down that way,” Rief said while patting the nearest guard on the back and moving through the group. “Keep up the good work now!” Rief saluted as he passed the confused guards and turned the corner.

“Man, I almost forgot how stupid regular guards were.” Rief thought to himself. Abruptly a shrill shout of “Get him!” came from around the corner behind him.

“Damn,” Rief cursed as he bolted down the corridor. Turning the corner, Rief notched four arrows onto his bow and did an about-face, sending the arrows into the first four guards that turned the corner. Rief unsheathed his daggers and planted one of the blades deep into a guards chest, the dagger cutting easily through his chain mail.

Rief used his other blade to deflect the attack sent at him by another guard before wrenching his first dagger free of the other guard and plunging it into his attacker.

Unexpectedly, time froze around Rief. Realizing his instincts must have put him a hyper-state, Rief turned around to see one of the guards that had been hit with an arrow trying to put his sword through him. Rief jumped into the air and hovered upside down on the ceiling before consciously deactivating his hyper-state.

The guards looked around in confusion. To them, Rief was there one second, then gone the next.

“Hey!” Rief shouted from above, “Up here!”

The guards looked up in surprise as Rief cut the chain holding up a nearby chandelier, sending it crashing down on the remaining guards.

Rief dropped to the ground and looked at the mess. “Thaum‘s gonna be pissed.” Rief told himself as he bolted through the halls of the citadel, searching the rooms with a glance when came to a large study with a massive hearth at one end of the room. Rief looked at above the fireplace to see a strange yellow gem glowing faintly. It looked normal and indistinct, Rief could feel a mass amount of magic coming from the room. “It makes sense really,” Rief thought, “If you steal something from the most powerful magician in all the lands, why not put it on your mantle?”

Rief jumped into the air and hovered up the crystal. Rief unsheathed his dagger and cut into the wall beside the crystal, prying it free just a regiment of guards, much larger than the previous one, barged into the room.

“And so the fun begins.” Rief muttered.
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« Reply #17 on: 16 April, 2009, 09:31:06 am »

Chapter 9:

Thaum was sitting in a luxurious conference room while staring across the table at Mayor Sterling who was trying very hard to fumble his way through small talk. Thaum was getting more than impatient with the mayor. He knew he didn’t have a lot of time left and he wished Rief would hurry up.

Mayor Sterling was just about to compliment Thaum on his robes and possibly talk about the weather when a crashing sound came from behind the door. With a sudden burst, the door split inward as several guards were thrown through the doorway and sent crashing into a table. Rief quickly hurled himself into the room landing behind the table with both blades drawn. Rief cautiously looked behind the table to see Thaum sitting next to a very dumbfounded looking Mayor.

“About time I found you! Do you have any idea big this place is?” Rief asked while catching his breath. “I’ve got the crystal thing, let’s go.” Rief said, tossing the crystal to Thaum who quickly pocketed it.

“Well Mr. Starling,” Thaum said to the still confused Mayor, “This has been a most profitable get-together, but I’m afraid that I must depart now,” Thaum said as he hit the Mayor over the head with his staff, causing him to fall to the ground unconscious.

“How are we getting out of here? Can you displace the room again?” Rief asked while watching the doorway for more guards.

Thaum concentrated for a minute before a tired expression came over his face, “I’m afraid I don’t have enough power left to displace this room. That last displacement took too much out of me,” Thaum finished, looking more haggard than usual.

“Then how are we supposed to get back?”

“The bakery! The residue from the last spell should still be there. I can use that to reverse the spell for us.” Thaum explained.

“Well between us and the bakery is a lot of guards.”

“We’ll deal with them. Let’s get moving. We don’t have a lot of time.” Thaum said as he moved out of the conference room and into the hallway. Rief followed him in close pursuit, entering the hallway in time to see Thaum engulfing a group of guards in a ring of flames. “Keep moving!” Thaum shouted over his shoulder.

Rief clutched his daggers and launched himself into the center of a group of guards and felled the group with a circular swipe of both blades. Thaum fired a stunning spell past Rief’s head and into a guard turning the corner, causing him to tumble mid-step.

A large batter of guards charged the two from behind as Thaum threw up a solid wall of red light across the corridor before them. The first couple of guards to hit the wall simply vanished from existence as the rest of the guards held back.

Rief turned the corner to where he remembered the entrance being and let loose a flurry of arrows from his bow, collapsing the guards that were stationed there. The two exited the castle as Thaum threw up a second red wall over the fortress’ entrance.

“Crimson Barrier. That should keep them back until it wears off.” Thaum mumbled.

Rief and Thaum were halfway back to the bakery when Thaum shuddered and collapsed to the ground. Rief picked the magician up and lugged him over his shoulders while bolting for the bakery entrance.

Bursting into the eatery to a group of surprised patrons, Rief gently set Thaum down on a nearby table.

“Thaum, I need you to cast the Displacement Spell,” Rief said as alarms began calling all over the city.

“I’m not sure that I have enough strength left,” Thaum muttered weakly. Rief looked over his shoulder through the window to the sight of what appeared to be a small army marching towards the diner.

“You seriously need to try harder!” Rief said hurriedly.

Thaum closed his eyes as a surge of energy ran through the room.

“Good man,” Rief said as he picked Thaum up from the table and headed for the door. Rief wrenched the door open to reveal the familiar walls of Thaum’s fortress beyond. Turning to the crowd of stunned civilians in the bakery, Rief announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. If you would be so kind as to forget our faces, we will leave you to your croissants,” Rief finished as bowed flashily and kicked the door shut.
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« Reply #18 on: 16 April, 2009, 09:31:37 am »

Chapter 10:

Rief carried Thaum into the courtyard of his fortress and leaned the weary magician against a nearby tree.

“Are you gonna be alright?” Rief asked.

“Now then, that depends entirely upon you Rief.”

“Does this mean you’re going to tell me what I’m supposed to be doing here now?”

Thaum let out a weary sigh before saying, “I’m old Rief. Much older than I let on. No matter how powerful I may be, it seems old age will conquer always,” Thaum took a minute to catch his ragged breath before continuing with, “Unfortunately old age happens upon magicians like myself rather suddenly. Probably as a punishment for our hundreds of years of youth. I’ve sensed my end coming only recently, and I’ve begun taking steps to prevent it. And this is where you come in Rief.”

“What can I possibly do about it?”

After a couple seconds of gathering his strength, Thaum replied, “There is a tournament. You must enter it and you must win. I would fight myself, but I’m afraid that my strength has already betrayed me. It is up to you now to take my place in the tournament and battle against foes unimaginable. Only then will you have the power to restore me.”

Rief thought for a moment before coming to a decision. “Alright, I guess I owe you, both for not killing me and for the gear. You can count me in.” Rief said firmly

A weak smiled crossed Thaum’s lips as he exclaimed, “Most excellent!”

“So when’s the tournament start?” Rief sighed.

“Not too far from now. A couple days at most. Of course our problem isn’t when, but where.” At this, Thaum retrieved the yellow crystal from his robe which was now shining brightly.

“So where’s the tournament then?”

Thaum opened his mouth to speak, but all that came out was a coughing fit. Finally Thaum composed himself enough to utter, “I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of strength left. This crystal is filled with very powerful magic which I can use to send you to a friend of mine. He’ll explain everything. Tell him Thaum Cigruta sent you, and that I want you to visit the other two before the tournament starts.”

“But what about you? I mean, will you be okay while I’m gone?”

“Once again, that depends on you now. But I should be able to survive long enough until the tournament is concluded,” Thaum said as he clutched the crystal close to him and began chanting to it.

“So where’s this ‘friend’ you’re sending me to?” Rief asked.

“In Sigma City.” Thaum replied between his chanting.

“Huh. Sigma City? I’m not sure I’ve heard of it. Is it-” Rief got out before the yellow crystal quickly expanded and enveloped him in the glowing yellow light.
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« Reply #19 on: 16 April, 2009, 09:32:28 am »

Chapter 11:

Rief traveled through the yellow tunnel of light, which stretched endlessly before him. Not really flying, but more floating comfortably. Rief had been pulled through the beam for what felt like half an hour before finally being spat out on solid ground. Rief landing sloppily, stumbling, missing and smashing the ground with his head.

Crawling to his feet through the disorientation, Rief stood up with extreme effort and attempted to vainly to get some semblance of bearings. It was night, and that was about all Rief was able to understand while looking at the site that stood before him. Massive, gleaming, metal buildings filled his view. Rief looked up to the obstructed sky to see metal vehicles ferrying passengers through the air. Taking it all in with a glance, Rief calmly took another.

“Alright,” Rief muttered to himself, “I obviously hit my head way harder than I though. I think the best option right now would be to find Thaum’s friend and get the hell out of here.”

Rief turned around to face what appeared to be the largest building in the city, towering over the ground at odd angles, the building appeared to be located at the edge of the city. A large sign made out of lights spelled out “Gamma Corp.” across the building’s face.

After coming to a decision based both on his thief training and the clear fact that he was certainly out of place, Rief concluded that the front door would not be the prime point of entry and settled for the roof instead.

Using his shoes, Rief hurtled himself into the air, flying high above the other buildings in the city beneath his feet before passing through a cloud and finally passing over top the Gamma Corp. building.

Rief let himself glide to the ground gently, but as son as he made contact with the roof, a ringing siren filled his ears as obnoxious red lights flashed through the building. A hole appeared on the roof next to Rief as a lift carrying several armed shining metal beings emerged from the complex. One of the being approached the confused Rief and said through a static buzz, “Please identify yourself.”

Rief looked the odd creature up and down in a second. The body was thin and the creature was too tall for a human to fit inside, Rief concluded that the being must have been entirely composed out of metal. Rief saw that the rifle it held was far more a advanced than what Thaum had used, which meant it was probably more deadly as well.

“Please identify yourself.” The metal man buzzed again after a moment.

“I guess you can call me Rief.”

An audible whir emanated from the being for a couple of seconds before it snapped back to attention and said, “That name is not in my memory stores. You are neither an employee or a guest. All intruders are to be apprehended on sight.”

The creature lunged for Rief with a mechanical quickness, but Rief was faster. Unsheathing his dagger, Rief slammed the blade into the machine’s head, causing sparks to fly as the blade went through. The other machines hesitated only a second as they took in this site before opening fire just as Rief activated his hyper-state. The rifles had fired a yellow glowing energy that was now slowly crawling towards him. Rief unsheathed his other dagger and struck the slow moving rounds, causing the energy bullets to fly back at the machines that fired them.

Deactivating his hyper state, the redirected ammunition tore through the metal guards, rendering them scrap metal. Stepping through the remains, Rief made for the lift. Unfamiliar with the controls, Rief cut a hole in the lift with surprising ease, using his dagger before jumping down into the shaft.

Rief stopped himself mid-fall and pried open a door leading into the facility, which appeared to be entirely devoid of life, both normal and metal.

“Those machines couldn’t have been the only people here,” Rief muttered to himself.

“Those machines couldn’t have been the only people here,” came his own voice from behind him.

Rief did an about face his put his dagger against the neck of what turned out to be himself. Before Rief stood another perfect copy of himself.

“What’s the matter?” The other Rief chided with a suddenly feminine voice, “Never look in a mirror before?” The other Rief threw a punch at Rief, when the arm suddenly multiplied itself, sending five punches into Rief at once. Rief was sent flying into a nearby wall with an incredible force. Looking up, Rief saw the copy of himself in front of him, now with 5 arms coming out on shoulder socket.

Rief activated his hyper-state and flew behind the other Rief, kicking him in the back hard enough to send hurtling through the wall he had hit a moment before.

“Son of a *****!” Came the female voice as the other Rief emerged from the hole, changing in appearance in front of Rief’s eyes into a young woman with pale green skin, flowing green hair, and covered with plant life for clothing, “That hurt!” She shouted at him.

“Who are you?” Rief asked threateningly.

“Whom am I? Who the hell are you? You’re the intruder here!” A barbed sword appeared in the green girl’s hands as she swiped at Rief, who could barely block the blow with his dagger.

“What’s up with the get up anyway? You trying to be some kind of modern day ninja or something stupid like that?’ The green woman taunted as she fired barbed thorns from her fingers. Rief dodged the thorns by launching himself to the ceiling and firing two arrows into the woman, causing her to scream in pain.

“What’s with my get up? You’re the one here that considers foliage to be normal wear. And what’s with your skin? It’s starting to make me nauseous,” Rief retorted as the woman tore the arrows out of her shoulders where they had landed and suddenly morphed into a tiger before Rief’s eyes. The tiger pounced on top of Rief as Rief brought a knife under it’s belly. The beast’s jaws were around Rief’s neck as his dagger was an inch away from piercing it’s heart. The two stood in stalemate.

Much to Rief’s shock, the tiger suddenly burst into a shower of leaves, which turned into ants as each one touched the ground. The swarm of ants moved to the other side of the room and piled on top of itself to take on the form of the green woman, brandishing her barbed sword and ready to attack. Rief launched himself to his feet and readied his daggers to defend himself, expecting anything.

A smile appeared on the green woman’s lips as her sword disappeared back into her arm. A hand came down hard on his shoulder as a friendly voice from behind his said, “Well, that was fun to watch, but would one of you please tell me what’s going on here?”
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« Reply #20 on: 16 April, 2009, 09:33:13 am »

Chapter 12:

Rief made a quick turn to slash whoever was behind him only to have his blade stopped mid-swing. The man before him looked to be in his twenties and was relatively average looking except for his glowing green eyes, whose iris appeared to be in constant flux. There was also the fact that he had caught the flat of Rief’s blade between his thumb and forefinger.

“You must be our guest,” The man said.

“Guest!? He’s an intruder! Did you even listen to your own alarm system?” The green girl shouted from behind Rief.

“Lotus,” The man said, addressing the green girls, “You don’t honestly think this man from around here do you?”

“Well, I guess now that I think about it, he is pretty weird.” The green woman replied, who Rief reasoned was called Lotus.

The man turned his attention back to Rief as he released his blade from his grip. “You might want to put those Kris away, they’re incredibly dangerous you know. You mind if I ask where you got them?”

“Kris huh? I didn’t know they had a name, I’m not familiar with the design.” Rief replied while sheathing his blade at his hip.

“They are quite unusual weapons, though you appear to be proficient with them nonetheless. But where did you get them?” The man asked again.

“No offense,” Rief said, becoming a bit annoyed at his ordeal, “But I don’t make a habit out of revealing my suppliers to strangers.”

“Oh, sorry about that,” The man said while clearing his throat,” My name’s Gaffit, I’m the owner and founder of Gamma Corporation, I’m also the current mayor of Sigma City, but that’s mostly just for fun. The green woman behind you is my assistant Lotus, and I believe you call yourself Rief.”

Rief was taken aback by Gaffit’s show of knowledge, “How do you know my name?”

“I gathered it from the data I salvaged from the robots you destroyed on the roof.”

“You took out the H-Kats?” Lotus shouted incredulously, “I gotta admit, I underestimated you.”

“Back on topic,” Gaffit interrupted, “Where did you get your weapons?”

“Why are you so interested?” Rief asked.

“Because the robots you diced were made out of titanium. The roof you just cut a hole in is six inches of purified adamantium, and the late robot’s blasters fire a special laser of my own design built to cut through just about anything. I’m pretty confident in saying that there isn’t a blade in our world capable of doing that, so you must have come from somewhere else.” Gaffit finished.

“Alright, you got me. I was sent here in search of friend of a friend of mine by the name of Thaum.” Rief replied.

“Thaum!?” Gaffit asked with a grin on his face, “Thaum Cigruta? I haven’t seen the man in… It must be about fifty years now! Where is he? Surely he wouldn’t have sent you here alone.”

“Huh,” Rief grunted, “Guess you’re my contact then. Look, Thaum’s dying of old age, he recruited me to fight for him in some kind of tournament where supposedly I can find the power to save him.”

“The Clash?” Gaffit whispered.

“Wait! This punk is gonna be fighting in the Clash? He won’t last five minutes in there. No offense of course,“ Lotus nodded at Rief, “Plus there‘s the fact that he has to be registered by now.”

“Not quite,” Gaffit stated, “If Thaum was with him, then he’d be an apprentice, and he’d have to be registered by now, but since Thaum isn’t, Rief can act as Thaum’s proxy and  simply take his place in the tournament. Those daggers should be proof enough that he‘s worked for Thaum.”

“It seems you people have more of a handle on this than I do then.” Rief replied sarcastically as the conversation veered beyond his comprehension.

“You mean Thaum didn’t tell you?” Gaffit asked.

“Thaum was too weak to explain anything when I left.”

“What the hell?” Lotus shouted, “The Clash stars in days and this idiot doesn’t even know anything about it. I’ve been working my ass off for years to get into this tournament and this guys gets a free ride to the from of the line?”

“Thaum never did pick an apprentice,” Gaffit mumbled, “Technically speaking, Reif’s entry is perfectly legal, albeit a bit unusual. Did Thaum say anything else to you?” Gaffit asked, snapping back to attention.

“Not really, before I left, he just said that you’d explain everything, and that I should tell you that I need to see the other two.”

“The other two? I don’t see why you would need to see them.” Gaffit muttered, “Well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint an old friend. Why don’t you gets some sleep Rief? I have some preparations to make. I’ll explain everything tomorrow.”

“Thanks,” Rief replied, “I’ve had something of a long day, it’d be good to get some rest.”

“Lotus, could you show our guest to some spare quarters?” Gaffit asked as he left the room.

“Aye aye sir!” Lotus said in mock salute, “Yo, ninja boy, this way,” She called to Rief as she led him down a hallway. “So you’re Thaum’s proxy? I’ve heard of the guy. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him personally though. He quit the Clash long before I joined.”

“Thaum was in the Clash?” Rief asked, “I mean, I’ve seen him fight before, but he’s never come off as the competitive type.”

“Yeah, from what I’ve heard of him, I’ve gotten the impression that he’s pretty tough. Anyway, here are your quarters while you’re here.” Lotus said while gesturing to two dull nondescript gray doors, “If you need anything, there’s a comm on the wall there, if you need anything, just press it and a group of H-Kats will attend to your needs.”

“What? No kiss goodnight?” Rief asked with mocking indignity.

“You’re a smelly bag of monkey parts, I’m a photosynthesizing asexual reproducer, it simply wasn’t meant to be,” Lotus replied while returning the mock despair, “Goodnight!”

With that, Lotus sunk into the floor beneath her. Rief turned towards his door which opened automatically as he approached it. He eyed the bed with the utmost enthusiasm. Feeling a sense of fatigue rush over him, Rief was unconscious before he hit the sheets.
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« Reply #21 on: 16 April, 2009, 09:34:12 am »

Chapter 13:

Rief spent the next day touring the massive building that headquartered Gamma Corp. Gaffit leading the expedition and Lotus following the two from a distance.
   
“If this is a headquarters,” Rief asked, “Then where are all your workers? The only life I’ve seen around here are the robots, and I’m not quite sure they count.”

“I always give my employees the week off before the Clash. No one in Sigma City knows but Lotus and I. I’m not sure the people of Sigma City could handle the idea of it to be honest. Too much technological dependency to believe in the possibility of magic,”

“What exactly is the Clash anyway?” Rief asked, “I know it’s a tournament, but that’s about as far as my knowledge of it goes.”

Gaffit considered this for a moment before replying, “Alright, you’ve realized that your world isn’t the only one right?”

Rief looked around the high-tech room they were in dramatically, “Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good handle on that concept. There’s my world and then there’s this one right?”

“Yes, but there are far more worlds than that, we call them dimensions which are connected to one another by the Multiverse.”

“So how many dimensions are there?” Rief asked.

“Exact number is pending,” Lotus chirped in from behind, “There are some who say there are an unlimited number of dimensions, but Gaffit and myself think those people are full of bull.”

“And each dimension is exponentially different from the last,” Gaffit continued, “As you’ve noticed, your world in a medieval stage of development where magic is possible compared to our world which is a scientific utopia.”

“You haven’t answered my original question though,” Rief responded, “What is the Clash?”

“I was getting there,” Gaffit said, “I guess the best way to describe it is as a tournament between those dimensions. The tournament itself takes place in its own dimension.”

“Its own dimension? Isn’t that a little excessive just for a once a year tournament?”

“Normally I’d agree, but that’s the way it’s always been, well as far as we know anyway.”

“And how far do you know?” Rief asked.

Gaffit let out a sigh before responding, “Well the tournament is much older than any current participant. The same goes for the dimension it takes place in. The earliest records of the tournament are nearly impossible to find as well since all the old records were lost when the dimensions they were located in collapsed. Some theorize that the Clash may even be the first dimension.”

“Which I also think is a load of bull,” Lotus chimed.

“I think I’ve got it so far, but if there are so many dimensions, wouldn’t there be an infinite number of participants?”

“You’d think so, but the odds of sentience appearing in a dimension are exponentially small, about ninety-nine point nine-nine percent of all dimensions are just vast planes of nothingness. Then of course that sentience has to reach a stage of advancement where they’re capable of inter-dimensional travel. After all that, the average turnout every year is about two hundred or so participants.”

“Well that’s good for me,” Rief said while cracking his knuckles, “It means there’s not as much competition to take down.”

“Quality over quantity Ninja-boy,” Lotus interrupted, “Those that are capable of entering the competition are usually far more powerful than you can imagine.”

“That’s comforting,” Rief replied with more than a hint of sarcasm, “That reminds me Gaffit, the other night you said that you haven’t seen Thaum in fifty year, but you don’t look half that age.

“Very perceptive,” Gaffit replied, “That due to my ability.”

“What? Immortality?”

“Nothing so dramatic unfortunately, to make a long story exponentially shorter, about two hundred years ago I was fresh out of college, a young man who had made some bad decisions. After an experiment which involved linking neuropathways to a super-computer when awry, I found out I was capable of controlling machines with my mind.”

“But that doesn’t explain how you can live for two hundred years,” Rief stated.

“Well after I received this ability, I became something of an inventor. One of my inventions was a self-replicating nanobot powered by gamma radiation which could inhabit individual cells and keep them performing at their peak efficiency. As long as those nanobots inhabit my cells, I’ll never age along with a couple of other odd side-effects. A few years later I invented an inter-dimensional portal, discovered the Clash and the rest is history,” Gaffit finished.

“Alright, so what’s her story?” Rief asked as he pointed his thumb back at Lotus.

“Chemical accident,” Gaffit said simply.

“Accident!?” Lotus shouted.

“Excuse me for being blunt but that’s what it was,” Gaffit explained as he turned his attention to Rief, “It’s a long story listen, I hate to sound too harsh, but from what I’ve seen of you, I’m not positively confidant you’re capable of winning this tournament. Maybe in a few years when you’ve improved your fighting technique, but going up against supernatural odds in your first year and coming out ahead is very unlikely,”

“I’ll handle it,” Rief assured him, “I’m in this to win.”

“Gaffit stared at Rief in though for a couple of moments, analyzing him like an equation with his blazing green eyes before saying, “I’m wondering if you’d be willing to let me test you.”

Rief looked back at him suspiciously before replying, “What exactly do you have in mind?
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« Reply #22 on: 16 April, 2009, 09:34:38 am »

The next couple of chapters are handwritten. I'll type 'em up before posting them.
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« Reply #23 on: 16 April, 2009, 11:13:34 am »

Shiny.
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« Reply #24 on: 16 April, 2009, 11:42:31 am »

Shiny.

I'm glad you noticed.
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« Reply #25 on: 16 April, 2009, 11:45:55 am »

Is Rief going to be fighting any of the clashers?
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« Reply #26 on: 16 April, 2009, 12:35:58 pm »

Is Rief going to be fighting any of the clashers?

Most likely, or at least a cameo. I already have the plot outlined. Fleshing it out is the hard part. ;v_v
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« Reply #27 on: 16 April, 2009, 12:45:07 pm »

*nods* Yeah, I know the feeling.
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« Reply #28 on: 17 April, 2009, 03:00:38 pm »

*nods* Yeah, I know the feeling.

Oh well, this story is gonna get done some day. A couple more chapters in and I'll be halfway done. Then I can move on to my Dragoon story.
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« Reply #29 on: 11 September, 2009, 02:18:52 am »

I'm still waiting...
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